How to leave a gift in your will

Young, female, grey seal basking on a beach on the Farne Islands in Northumbria
Farne Islands, Northumbria National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Whether you’re making a will for the first time or simply changing an existing will, it’s easier than you might think to leave us a gift.

Of course, family and friends will be your first priority. But you can also leave a gift to the next generation – and many generations to come – when you remember our work.

No gift is too small to make a lasting difference – we are grateful for every act of generosity and every penny we receive.

A small contribution could help fill a glade with spring bulbs to bloom each year, or cover the costs of cleaning a chandelier in your favourite historic house. It could help rebuild a crumbling footpath, ensuring a glorious view is still there to enjoy. Every gift makes a difference.

First, you'll need to decide what type of gift you'd like to leave and whether you'd like it to be used in any particular way, for example to protect the coast, the countryside, a house or a garden.

Decide which type of gift to leave

  • With a residuary gift, you can leave the remainder of your estate, or a percentage of it, once family and friends have been provided for. This is the type of gift many supporters choose to make, because it has the added benefit of keeping its value over time – it isn’t affected by inflation.
  • With a pecuniary gift, you can specify a particular amount of money or a valuable saleable item, like a piece of jewellery or furniture, that you would like to leave to the National Trust.

It is always helpful to have gifts in wills that can be used wherever they are most urgently needed at the time they come to us. But we also understand your wish for your gift to benefit a specific place that’s important to you. Simply tell us what your wishes are. We will be pleased to honour them.

Free will-writing service

Arranging for a will to be written can be daunting, but each year we can give a small number of our members the opportunity to have a simple will written or amended for free through the National Free Wills Network.

This offer is open on a first-come, first-served basis, and covers the writing of ‘simple’ wills that do not have to deal with complex issues. If you are interested in making your will through the National Free Wills Network, then please call us on 01793 817699 or email the Gift in Wills team.